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Cowboys 2022 pre-draft visit tracker: 9 potential first-round picks scheduled to visit Dallas

The list of names the Cowboys bring in for pre-draft visits is usually a good indicator of what the Cowboys will do in the draft.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys-Coach Mike McCarthy Press Conference Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The holy grail of Cowboys pre-draft activity is the official pre-draft visit. Every year in early April, the Cowboys are allowed to bring in up to 30 usually high-profile, national draft-eligible players for official pre-draft visits.

Here’s why we watch the official pre-draft visits so closely: Since 2006, all but two of the Cowboys’ top picks in the draft all visited with the Cowboys prior to the draft. This even includes Jason Williams (‘09, third round) and Trysten Hill (‘19, second round), who each were the top picks of their draft class.

  • In 2012, Morris Claiborne became the first Cowboys top pick since DeMarcus Ware in 2005 who wasn’t invited to Dallas prior to the draft.
  • In 2020, CeeDee Lamb was not part of the Top 30 visits to Dallas.
  • There were no in-person pre-draft visits in 2021, but the Cowboys did conduct some type of Zoom interview with Micah Parsons, though it’s not entirely clear who took part in that call from the Cowboys’ side.

The “Top 30” visits do not involve any workouts, they are strictly meet-and-greets where the team can get a better feel for the players and the medical staff can conduct more thorough medical checkups, but the players do not work out for the team.

The Cowboys can also bring in as many draft-eligible local prospects (players who went to high school in the Dallas/Fort-Worth metropolitan area or attended TCU, SMU, or North Texas) as they like for visits and workouts during “Dallas Day,” but that’s separate from the Top 30 visits.

Additionally, the team can have private workouts with as many prospects as they want, but in the Cowboys’ hierarchy of pre-draft meetings, workouts, interviews, and visits, private workouts frankly don’t mean all that much.

Here’s an overview of all 30 “Top 30” visitors:

Top 30 Visitors
CBS Rank Name POS College Proj. Rd
Wide Receivers
12 Drake London WR USC 1
14 Treylon Burks WR Arkansas 1
27 Chris Olave WR Ohio State 1-2
O-Line
7 Charles Cross OT Miss. State 1
24 Bernhard Raimann OT Central Michigan 1
31 Zion Johnson OG Boston College 1-2
30 Kenyon Green OL Texas A&M 1-2
145 Cam Jurgens OC Nebraska 4-5
258 Joshua Ezeudu OT North Carolina 7-FA
386 Dawson Deaton OC Texas Tech 7-FA
Defensive Line
18 Jordan Davis DT Georgia 1
39 Logan Hall DE Houston 2
52 Myjai Sanders DE Cincinnati 2
57 DeMarvin Leal DT Texas A&M 2
68 Sam Williams DE Ole Miss 2-3
94 Perrion Winfrey DT Oklahoma 3
194 Michael Clemons DE Texas A&M 5-6
352 David Anenih DE Houston 7-FA
-- Luiji Vilain DE Wake Forest FA
Linebackers
17 Devin Lloyd LB Utah 1
51 Quay Walker LB Georgia 2
-- Devin Harper LB Oklahoma State FA
-- James Houston LB Jackson State FA
Tight ends
88 Jeremy Ruckert TE Ohio State 3
92 Jalen Wydermyer TE Texas A&M 3
118 Cade Otton TE Washington 4
218 Jelani Woods TE Virginia 6-7
Others
324 Marquese Bell S Florida A&M 7-FA
-- Malik Davis RB Florida FA
-- Daron Bland CB Fresno State FA

(H/T Matt Miller for help with some of the list.)

At this point, we can do little more than guess in which round each player will be taken, but going by the players are ranked by different draftniks, there could be up to nine first-rounders or late-first/early-second-rounders on this list. The surprise here are the three wide receivers, all likely first-rounders; in a draft that’s supposedly deep at WR, one might have expected the Cowboys to look for WRs more in the middle rounds, but they seem to be open to taking a WR with their top pick.

The list of visitors gives us an early idea of what a Cowboys draft strategy could look like:

  1. Get an offensive lineman with one of the top two picks, but be ready to take a wide receiver in the first if the right opportunity presents itself.
  2. Shore up the defensive line on day two of the draft (rounds 2-3).
  3. Be ready to pounce on a dropping linebacker on day two.
  4. Get a tight end in the middle rounds.

The Cowboys are obviously not going to be able to draft five positions with their first three picks, but in terms of contingency planning, this approach does make sense:

I think going for a 1-2 punch of OL and DL in the draft is perfectly reasonable - with a Lamb/Parsons exception (WR/LB) built in - and then taking a tight end later.

I would also seriously entertain a Frederick-style trade down to the bottom of the first, though trading down is much easier in theory than in practice.

Based on this Top 30 list, which positions would you prioritize in the draft?

[Update 4-7-22]

Texas A&M DE Michael Clemons added to the list.